Mar 22

2012 death cross

At the grocery store, late afternoon, and
it’s crowded. Store in one of many strip-
malls that dot the landscape on the
periphery, interlaced highways. I think
I see Pete in there. Pete married my
first ex. We’d huddled under blankets
upstairs, junkies downstairs, no heat
or hot water, then all that gunfire.
We carried each other the hell out
of there, then lived together for 5
Pete and his basket, me and my
basket. One carries a basket to easier
navigate the narrow isles. You know
that. A black woman in canned goods
says “let’s get a move on” to gridlock
and is mocked by several. One who
says something about twilight zone to
another. Crowd logic vs sanity. She
calls me honey.
Chicken, things for beans and rice,
serrano peppers. A frozen pie. Last-
minute decision on sloppy joes, so
gnd beef, sauce. I’m a wreck. String
of bad sleep, barely 6 hrs nightly.
Nightmares of impossible situations
lived. The smelly printshops, that chemical
stink that sticks to your clothes, that you
get used to. Decades of insane bosses from
good homes. I’ve been watching Ken Burns
The War on my new Netflix setup. I once
told my mother when I watch historical things
I think of her, how old she and dad were during
the time. I’m counting years, putting them in there;
Tinian, the Hurtgen Forest. The war at home;
reading newspapers, FDR on the radio.
I don’t say anything to Pete. Part of me doesn’t
want to know, or knows. Too much.

–Mike Boyle